Breastmilk is the ultimate nutrition for your child and while not everyone can feed directly from the breast, those who can and who provide to others need to be mindful of common pitfalls that occur during breast feeding. At BBy, we strive to make sure that every step of the process is as painfree and simple as possible, however there are issues that can arise. We’re committed to nurturing the next generation of humans, and the best way to ensure that is to make sure we have happy parents! Remember, while this information is physician created and intended as a guide for the nursing mother, only your personal physician can give you the custom-tailored advice needed to solve your specific needs.
Lactational mastitis is inflammation in your breast that is accompanied with fever, muscle and breast pain, and redness. And although it seems to be caused by an infection, that is not always the case. This tends to occur if your nipples are damaged, your breasts stay engorged for too long, or they do not drain properly. Symptoms include: firm, red, and tender area of the breast; fever higher than 101 ̊F; muscle aches, chills, or flu-like symptoms. If you have any of these, go see your healthcare provider to see if you need to be put on any medications. If prescribed, remember to always finish the full round of antibiotics as the infection may come back if you do not.
You may be diagnosed with a yeast infection of the nipple if you have breast pain without any apparent cause, a history of vaginal yeast infections or if you infant has had any, or shiny or flaky skin on your nipple. If you test positive for one, your infection may be treated by topical antifungals, gentian violet*, or antifungal pills.
*Gentian violet is purple medication you would apply to your baby’s mouth before feeding and apply more an any areas of your nipple that are not purple. Used for 3-4 days.
Bloody Nipple discharge
Sometimes women experience bloody discharge for the first days-weeks of lactation and if it is your first pregnancy, it is more common and usually referred to as “rusty pipe syndrome”. It is thought to be caused from increased blood flow to your breasts and ducts when starting to make milk. If you have bloody discharge for more than a week, you should go see your healthcare provider.
Milk oversupply is most common for first-time mothers and can make breastfeeding difficult. The rush of milk could cause your baby to choke and cough, have trouble feeding, or bite down to clamp the nipple. Don’t worry, oversupply problems usually go away on their own, but always tell your healthcare provider about it in case of other issues. Here are some ways to deal with milk oversupply:
- Nurse in an upright position- holding your baby upright and lean back or lie on your side to give your baby better control of the flow of milk.
- Try putting a scissor-like hold on your areola or press on your breast with the heel of your hand to restrict flow.
- Let your baby interrupt feeding, burp them often.
- Avoid pumping because it could stimulate even more milk production but pumping a little at the beginning of a feeding can relieve some pressure.
- Apply cold water or ice to your nipples to decrease leaking.
Breastfeeding and pumping milk for other children is an extremely gratifying and visceral experience, with proper care, body maintenance and information you will have a very happy and healthy maternity. Remember that with all of this tips, only your personal physician can diagnose and inform you on your specific situation. This is not meant to be, nor should it be a replacement for proper medical care. Join us next time when we talk about mommy nutrition!